The Lely swimming teams are off to a solid start to the season after wins against Palmetto Ridge and St. John Neumann.
The Trojans expect to be competitive all year in the pool, with both the boys and girls hoping to make some postseason noise.
Lely’s girls have three returning state qualifiers in senior Grace Ann Delcompare, senior Madison Bonfitto and junior Audrey Delcompare, who earned a pair of top-eight individual finishes last year.
“The girls have some really strong returning swimmers who have a great chance of accomplishing something great,” Lely coach Adam Peterson said. “We also have a lot of young swimmers who we’re trying to get some experience.”
Peterson said he’s even experimenting with some of the returning standouts, including Bonfitto, the defending district champion in the 50-yard freestyle.
“We’re having Maddy swim a number of events this season, but she’ll likely end up doing the sprint freestyle events again come district time,” he said. “But it’s always nice to be versatile and have girls who can swim in a number of events.”
Junior Tatiana Meyers is another returning swimmer who offers versatility for the Trojans.
“We’re asking a lot out of her, but she’s a very good swimmer, a versatile swimmer who can swim just about any event,” Peterson said. “You need those types of swimmers.”
The boys team doesn’t have as much front-line talent capable of making legitimate state title runs, but might have the better team overall.
“I think we have a little more depth on the boys side,” he said. “I think we have a legitimate chance of finishing in the top three in the district in both boys and girls swimming this year.”
Last year, the girls finished third while the boys took sixth. Leading the boys team will be junior Jason Lang, who will swim multiple freestyle events throughout the season. Fellow junior Ryan Witthoff is also expected to be one of the boys’ top swimmers this year. Other swimmers to watch include junior Francisco Antunez and sophomore Cole Shanahan.
“Those four guys were part of a regional-qualifying relay team last year,” Peterson said. “They were a young team that kind of snuck in there, but they are all confident that they can do much better this year.”